Food Allergy Protection in New Jersey
- A key component of inspections conducted at wholesale food
establishments by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior
and Drug Safety Program staff is the evaluation of product
labels to determine if food allergens utilized as ingredients
are properly declared on the finished product ingredient label.
In addition, inspectors evaluate the potential for allergen cross-contact
when companies produce multiple products, not all of which contain
common allergens, in the same facility. Cross contact can occur
when several foods are made using the same processing equipment,
when allergen-containing products are processed before non-allergen
containing products, or when equipment sanitation is inadequate.
- In 2003, a law was passed in New Jersey calling on the Commissioner
of Health and Senior Services to adapt rules and regulations,
including proper medical protocols, that would authorize all
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to have access to, and to
administer epinephrine to a person experiencing an allergic
reaction. The new rules and regulations are nearing completion.
- In 2004, the New Jersey Legislature passed a resolution which
urges school districts to acquaint personnel with the dangers
of peanut allergy and to establish peanut-free cafeteria areas.
- In 2005, a bill was signed into law in New Jersey which calls
for the creation of a public information campaign, known as “Ask
Before You Eat,” designed to inform the public about food
allergies and anaphylaxis. The new law also calls for the creation
of a fact sheet on nut allergies, which will be distributed to
local boards of health, local health officers, and restaurants.